No Charges To Be Filed In Fatal Officer-Involved Shooting
Updated On: May 05 2011 08:14:32 AM EDT
The Miami-Dade State Attorney's Office released its final report Thursday on the fatal shooting of an unarmed man by a Miami police officer during a traffic stop last year, saying the shooting did not violate any state laws.
In the 17-page final report on the fatal shooting of DeCarlos Moore, prosecutors said they had concluded that Officer Joseph Marin had "a basis for a justifiable use of deadly force."
Read: Prosecutors' Report
The report includes details, DNA results, interviews with civilian and police officer witnesses.
The shooting occurred July 5 on 16th Terrace in Overtown. Prosecutors said Marin and Officer Vionna Brown-Williams were patrolling the area when they ran the license plate on a Honda driven by Moore and it came back as stolen. The officers pulled Moore's car over and got out of their car.
According to the prosecutors' report, Brown-Williams testified that Moore got out of the car, walked toward the officers, then quickly returned to the Honda, reaching in through a window and turning toward Marin.
Marin said he saw something that looked metallic in Moore's hand as he faced them, according to the report. Marin told investigators he thought Moore was retrieving a weapon and fatally shot him in the head.
Prosecutors said no weapon was found at the scene, but some aluminum foil containing crack cocaine was discovered nearby.
The car actually was not stolen, but its vehicle identification number was similar to that of a motorcycle that was stolen in Minnesota, which likely caused the car's number to come back as stolen, according to prosecutors.
State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle released a statement Thursday saying the state was not going to prosecute the officer.
"After a thorough review of all the facts, evidence and witness statements and studiously examining existing Florida statutes, it is our conclusion that the shooting death of DeCarlos Moore did not involve any criminal violation of Florida law," the statement said.
William Matthewman, Marin's attorney, said many people were in an uproar because Moore was unarmed, but he said the evidence justified what Marin did.
"If an individual is unarmed but still acts in a way to make an officer believe that he was armed or fear that he was armed and puts the officer in fear of his or her life, then the officer is legally justified in using lethal force, and that's really what happened here," Matthewman said.
Moore's family was unavailable for comment.
The report was the first to come out in the investigations of seven police shootings involving the Miami Police Department.
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